Our Vision and Values

At Leeds University Union, we have a simple vision at our heart and a sole purpose at our core:

Together, we’ll make sure you love your time at Leeds

Our aims as a charity are to support, enable and represent our students. To enable them to get the most out of their learning and of course to help them have fun. We believe that with 31,000 students at Leeds, when a collective voice is heard, real positive change can emerge.

Over time students have been disregarded in many aspects of public policy, and here at Leeds University Union we have a proud history of enabling students to inform change in the University and the City.

We can’t do this alone so we continue to work with our partners to deliver student-led services that are backed by our enthusiastic and enterprising staff team.

Everything we are planning to develop during the next four years will have our students’ needs and our core values at its heart.

Alongside the development of our new Strategic Plan, we have also fine-tuned our core values to define how our work is delivered over the next four years.

We ensure that everyone can play a part in the Union.

We exist to serve others and continuously strive to deliver the very best.

We pride ourselves on developing innovative and creative solutions.

We help people to make their own decisions and lead change.

Inspire students to succeed

inspire our students to succeed

*70% of members think providing career and academic support should be our strategic focus

Some students are feeling the strain of academic and career pressures. They don’t feel prepared for the future and are unsure how to articulate their skills and experience to a potential employer.

So we’re launching a series of brand new projects to support our current student staff team, our volunteers and students in the wider student community, helping them to face the world after University with a little more confidence.

We’ve already been recognised as a great employer (the Sunday Times named us as one of the top 20 not-for-profit places to work in the UK!) but this programme will push us even harder to deliver more for our people and volunteers.

Inspiring our members to achieve their personal ambitions will help them feel more confident in their own skills and abilities. They’ll recognise their contribution to the student community and will feel more prepared to move on after University.

Prepare students for their future

Enable our workforce to excel

Create well equipped student staff & volunteers

Strengthen & build upon our high performing culture

3. Show me the money

enrich students' experiences & activities

*81% of members think that facilitating clubs and societies is a key role of the union, and in 2013 over 21,000 students were part of a student activity group.

Those members who weren't part of a club or society told us that cost and time commitments were barriers to participation. Our research demonstrated links between participation in activities and positive impacts on a student’s happiness and wellbeing, so we’ll be working hard to make sure all students can access Union activities.

Our student segments demonstrate the vast differences between our members and the activities and events they want to see from their Union.

Some students are passionate about sports clubs and large social circles, while others are more comfortable with low-key activity and smaller groups of people. Our offer and communications must adapt to reflect our students’ very different needs.

Enriching our students’ experiences will mean that students truly feel like members of the Union and enjoy participating in our activities and accessing our services.

Energise students through union activities

Strengthen our commitment to value

Diversify our membership benefits

Boost unique student-led activity


4. Student Power

empower students to make change

*74% of members think the union needs to play a part in student representation and only 6% of our students currently use our help and advice services

56% of students place importance on us making democracy more accessible and relevant. Advice, support and representation are named as priorities across all of our student groups, but we know there are a variety of barriers to accessing and benefiting from these services.

We’re placing happiness, wellbeing and communications within this change programme. Our focus is to remove barriers, ease access, raise awareness and increase the use of services so that students feel empowered and able to make informed decisions that allow them to take control of their lives.

Empowering our students to make change will provide them with more ownership of their experience at Leeds.

Prioritise students' happiness & wellbeing

Enable students to improve their academic experience

Motivate students to create positive change

Establish strong connections with students

5. Help me have fun

drive our students' union into the future

*69% of members think providing better facilities within the union building should be our strategic focus

Members want to see investment and improvements to the spaces they relax and study in.

Our focus on developing our financial sustainability, environmental management and IT services and systems will enable us to streamline our operations, diversify our income streams and future-proof our plans. This will result in greater outcomes for our members and our staff.

Students will benefit from access to radically improved spaces that are better able to fulfil their needs.

Advance our financial sustainability

Invest in upgrading student spaces

Lead in environmental management

Accelerate out IT & digital development

6. The people at the Union are great

Thank you

Thank you to each and every one of the 4,051 students who took part in Express Yourself, the hundreds of students who attended our consultation events and forum, the many University staff and leaders who directly inputted, our friends and partners in the community, our funders, trustees and committee members for their scrutiny, guidance and support and our fantastic staff team who have helped to shape this plan every step of the way.

We hope you’ve found the contents of our plan as exciting and energising as we do.